A look at the inside of Cans Venue and Lounge.

After 7 months in operation, CANS, a promising concert venue and deli on North Fourth Avenue, is calling it quits at the end of the year.

A lengthy post from management on the Cans Facebook page Tuesday declared its last day open will be December 31.

“This decision has not been an emotionally or financially easy one,” the post read. “Our experience running a venue has taught us many things, and we hope to have gained wisdom and spiritual growth throughout the process.” 

Opened by Tallboys owner Ben Schneider and several business partners, Cans seemed to show up at the right time.

The 6,000 square feet of space, previously occupied by the poutine restaurant U.S. Fries, came with a deli at the front of the house and a large concert venue in the back.

At the time, the venue looked like it might fill the void being left behind by the North Fourth Avenue venue Flycatcher. Comparable in size, Flycatcher closed in July to make room for Union on Sixth, a proposed student-housing high-rise.

And the deli offered another option for those lamenting the closure of Shlomo and Vito’s, one of only a handful of traditional delis in the Tucson area, that closed in early 2017 after nine years in business.

“I’ve always loved the Jewish deli idea,” said Schneider in an interview with the Star in March. “The deli food I grew up on is another version of comfort food. I think making people feel comfortable is my main thing.”

But the traditional deli concept was short-lived.

Schneider and his partners started shifting direction of the menu to what Schneider described as “Jewish drunk food,” things like corned beef nachos and matzo ball corn dogs, shortly after opening, according to an interview he gave to This is Tucson in June.

"We were trying to stick with a traditional Jewish menu, but it's kind of boring. And we're not really digging the outcome of it that much, and the response," Schneider said at the time.

Tuesday’s Facebook post said that ultimately, the deli concept was poorly executed.

“We quickly realized that what we were delivering was not what Fourth Ave. needed,” the post read

As a venue, Cans was active, hosting more than 200 concerts and events, featuring local and national touring acts, since May, according to its Facebook events page.

But the venue never had enough capital to compete with the likes of the Rialto or Club Congress, Tuesday's post read.

“We still believe in the power of the local scene, but most shows were simply under supported,” it read.

Cans has 12 more events scheduled until their closure on Jan. 1.

Tucson restaurants that closed their doors in 2018:


Gerald received his journalism degree from the University of Maryland. He has been with the Star for 16 years and has covered a variety of beats. Currently, he divides his time between the presentation desk and as a member of the digital team.